5 Easy tips for a guilt free Easter

Enjoy Easter without food guilt

Easter is approaching and with all the excitement comes a lot of treats such as hot cross buns, Easter lunches and easter eggs. Eventhough these treats can be fun, overindulging can often leave us feeling uncomfortable,bloated, cravings and also just feelings of guilt and sometimes shame.

I would rather enjoy Easter and make it about fun, family and taking time off instead of feelings of guilt and regrets. Guilt and regret form overindulging or binging on Easter treat overshadows the amazing time spent connecting with family and friends and that’s the main point of the Easter break.

My clients often struggle over festive seasons and I usually help them make little changes so that they can enjoy their holidays! Here are my five tips to help you enjoy Easter without the guilt, unnecessary weight gain or Easter binges.

1. Start your day the right way

Drink a large glass of water when waking up and eat a healthy breakfast packed with protein. High protein breakfasts will give you energy and keep your insulin levels stable reducing cravings. A nourishing big breakfast will help keep you full and it will also help you make better decisions when you are not coming from a place of hunger and cravings.

2. Indulge mindfully

Don’t deny yourself a hot cross bun or chocolates, make sure that you enjoy your treats mindfully and savoring every bite.  This will help you feel less deprived an keep binges at bay. We often end up overeating when you feel deprived and we feel like we “shouldn’t” have certain foods.

3. Keep active.

Keeping active releases endorphins, say bye to cravings!

Make this time fun, spend time in nature, go on Easter egg hunts with the children, play games like finding the Easter Bunny enjoy the fresh air. The activity will keep you energized and all distract you from all the food. Exercise releases endorphins which will improve your mood and reduce cravings!

4. Freeze excess chocolate.

IF you find yourself inundated with chocolates put them in the freezer and then you can ration them out throughout the weeks after Easter. You can use them in recipes like using it as chocolate chips or melting it down to make chocolate sauce.

5. Keep healthy snacks on standby

Keep healthy options available making nice platters with fresh vegetable sticks and a homemade dip. Make sure you have loads of snacks ready to go so you don’t find yourself hungry (tip: why not try and revamp your favorite Easter recipe using healthier ingredients.

Emotional eater? Want more energy? This group is just the place for you! Join my Facebook group for more recipes, tips and tutorials[

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oils,  stress management, skin, sunburn, allergies, anxiety,  essential oil

Lavender essential oil, the most versatile of all oils!

Lavender has so many health benefits, it’s an analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti fungal, anti-infections, anti-inflammatory and so many more. However, it’s mostly know for its calming properties as studies have suggested that it has sedative and mood stabiliser properties .

Lavender and the body

Lavender has a cool and dry energy and therefore acts against body heat derived from inflammation, pain and feelings of restlessness. It also has a cooling effects on the liver, alleviating headaches, constipation and the quality of sleep. Proper sleep can result in weight loss, reduces stress levels and has a significant impact on digestion. Lavender is also an antiseptic and can help with skin irritations, sunburn and soothing red spots on the skin. Lavender is exceptionally gentle and can be added to the skin undiluted in some cases.

Headache: Add two drops of lavender to 5 drops of carrier oil and smooth into the temples, neck and hairline

Lavender and the mind.

Lavender oil can help release pent up energy and help relieve irritation and frustration. It has been know as a “rescue remedy” and can calm overpowering emotions that can cause overwhelm. It can also help with shyness and embarrassment when we feel the fear of rejection.

Meditation helps to calm down the nervous system which helps the body heal.

Lavender and the soul.

Lavender helps to energise the throat chakra (Vishuddha) which helps us communicate clearly, honestly and with confidence. the calming effect of lavender oil is a brilliant accessory for meditation and mindfulness.

The Throat Chakra’s purpose is communication and self expression

Throat Chakra : Add one drop of lavender to a your throat area and repeat the affirmation “I speak my truth with confidence”

Lavender is also known to soothe the third eye chakra ( Ajna ) especially when experiencing headahes, difficulty concentrating and intuitive blocks.

The Third eye’s chakra’s purpose is Intuition and the ability to think and make decisions.

Third Eye Chakra : Add one drop of lavender to the middle of your forehead repeat the affirmation “I’m guided by my intuition and trust it fully”

Want my free 21 Daily Uses For Essential Oils guide? Click here to download it now!!

Click here for more information on Essential Oils and how to start healing your body, mind and soul with Essential Oils.

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Resources:

Aromatherapy and natural health publication

Chakra Wellness made simple by Connie Boucher

Aromatherapy for the healing spirit

Emotions & Essential oils

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie bowl packs a real protein punch without adding protein powders! All the ingredients are Wholefood based and this is just super delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 banana (frozen)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice ( I used coconut milk)
  • 1 Tsp Macca Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp organic cocoa powder (optional)
  • 2 Tsp descecrated coconut
  • 2 Tbs white chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp sunflower seeds (plus extra for decoration)
  • 1 Tsp pepitas (plus extra for decoration)
  • Sprinkle black chia seeds for decoration

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend untill smooth.
  2. Scoop into a serving bowl.
  3. Decorate with the sunflower seeds, pepitas and black chia seeds.
  4. Enjoy.

Notes:

You can add a bit more liquid if the consistency is too thick.

Emotional eating support

Emotional eater? Want more energy? This group is just the place for you! Join my Facebook group for more recipes, tips and tutorials

How gut health effects stress and sleep

Gut Health, Stress and sleep

I don’t know about you but when I ‘m stressed I immediately feel like my stomach has turned into a solid ball of tension, and when I’m nervous I feel butterflies in my stomach. The reason for this is because the gut and the brain are closely related and in constant communication. The very thought of your moms home cooked meals can trigger digestive juices in the stomach (gastric juices) and make you ravenous within minutes. Conversely, any distresses in the gut and stomach can cause anxiety, stress and depression according to Anthony L. Komaroff (Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter)

According to the book Neuroscience , more neurons (cells that transmit nerve impulses) are said to reside in the human gut than in the entire spinal cord,which makes the gut and digestive system a rather sensitive system. This is the reason why there is such a big hype about gut health.

When the gut is unhappy, we sometimes experience physical pain or symptoms such as stomach aches, gas, bloating, heartburn and diarrhea we also experience non gut related symptoms such as stress, lack of sleep ,fatigue,  skin problems, infections and the list goes on.

My interest in particular has been how stress, sleep and digestive health are all related so here’s how an unhealthy gut affects stress and sleep in particular.

How the gut affects stress

How the gut affects stress
Gut Health and Stress

Our gut produces roughly 90% of the body’s serotonin, our bodies happy hormones. Serotonin regulates the secretion of the stress hormone Cortisol. Scientific studies done on mice have shown that serotonin levels are lower in mice with less healthy gut bacteria. If there is less serotonin in the system, inflammation increases and Cortisol increases. Too much cortisol can interfere with sleep levels and can lead anxiety, stress and depression

High levels of cortisol takes the blood to the limbs giving you the energy to run away from danger but this takes the energy away from the gut, lowering digestive enzymes that break down food as well as the absorption of healthy vitamins and minerals. In conclusion, there is therefore a very delicate relationship between the gut and stress levels and if we start paying attention to this balance we will be able to manage both stress and gut health.

How the gut affects Sleep

How the gut affects Sleep
Gut health and sleep

An unhappy gut manifests in stomach aches, gas, bloating, and nausea which can make it very difficult to sleep. Good quality sleep is very important in managing stress levels and again we have just learnt how the stress hormone cortisol causes additional stress on the digestive system.

Poor sleep, on the other hand, increases the appetite and especially cravings for junk food, the more junk food we eat, the more stress is placed on the digestive system . Junk food is laden with artificial substances that take the place of healthy vitamins and minerals that the body requires to function. The presence of these preservatives and flavoring agents cause inflammation in the gut and this again raises cortisol levels, which acts as an anti-inflammatory. However, if the gut is constantly inflamed by the continuous consumption of processed food, then cortisol levels remains high preventing the body from producing melatonin ( the sleep hormone) , thus keeping us from getting a restful night’s sleep.   Needless to say, there is another delicate balance between the gut and sleep.

How to keep the gut healthy.

  1. Eat a whole food diet rich in anti inflammatory foods, such as green leafy vegetables, bok choy , celery, beets, blueberries and pineapple.
  2. Manage your stress levels.
  3. Get more quality sleep.
  4. Eat foods rich in fiber.
  5. Drink loads of fresh water.

To Summarize, there is a delicate balance between the gut, stress and sleep. If one of these are out of balance the other two will start to feel strain. If you can just start taking action in correcting one of these areas, you will see drastic changes in your health and energy levels.


Join my free Facebook group for more video’s and discussions on health and the gut!

Resources

Health top questions

Diabetes talk

tuck.com

Adrenalfatige.org

Harvard Heath publishing

Is it Time for a cleanse?

Toxic chemicals abound in the world today – they easily find their way into our body through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. We also ingest foreign chemicals when taking medicinal or illicit drugs, or when using alcohol or tobacco.

Although the body is designed to be self-cleaning and to excrete these toxins, it cannot always handle the overload present in today’s environment. Chemicals not excreted accumulate in our fat cells and cell membranes become internal toxins.

When the body is under stress, it releases those toxic waste products from the fat to circulate in the bloodstream. These toxins can damage the protective intestinal lining, literally corroding the body from the inside out; making it a less effective filter for the good nutrients we might be bringing in. The more it is damaged, the less effectively it absorbs nutrients, and the more toxins pass into the blood and lymph systems. This is why elimination is so important during a cleanse! We aim to eliminate toxins from the body to avoid toxic overload.

What Are Symptoms Of Toxic Overload?

• headaches

• nausea

• constipation

• diarrhea

• belly bloat

• painful gas

• frequent belching

• joint and muscle aches

• muscle tension

• soreness or cramps

To avoid these symptoms and effectively reset the body it is important to keep all of the body’s channels of elimination open and functioning well. A number of cleansing activities are recommended in this cleanse, beyond changing your diet. The time and loving attention you devote to these activities for your body during your cleanse will be richly rewarded with improved health.

It is believed by nutritionally oriented health care practitioners that specific food allergies are related to metabolic toxicity. Symptoms from apparent food allergies may result from reduced enzyme concentrations and from intestinal bacterial endotoxins. One classic approach to eliminating or minimizing symptoms associated with food allergies is using a hypo-allergenic diet or elimination diet (which is the approach we’ll be using in this cleanse.)

Foods that most commonly cause symptoms of a food allergy or toxicity are gluten containing grains, dairy products, eggs, soy, caffeine, yeast, sugar (and it’s many forms), dried fruits, citrus fruits and sometimes poor food combining. Avoidance of these foods has lead to relief of symptoms in many individuals. By reintroducing these foods back into the diet individually, one is able to see clearly how their body reacts to that food.

This gentle, yet effective approach is designed to support the liver’s detoxification pathways and to improve intestinal health so that the body can clear out excess toxins and operate at it’s highest potential. It delivers an all access pass to boundless reserves of energy you didn’t know you had. You’ll find that every part of your body works better simply by “switching on” your metabolism and body’s natural healing abilities.

I have had a lot of people tell me how exhausted they are after the festive season!! Too many late nights, excess sugar, too much alcohol! All this leads to our bodies being drained from trying to deal with all the excess food and drinks adding stress and inflammation to the digestive system.

That’s why I have just launched my new years cleanse!! Starting 18 January we will delve into a 3-week reset. Now if you are thinking lemon water or weird detox soups, you know that’s not my vibe! I’m all into healthy options and creating habits that will last!!

What’s included 

  • A full 3-week program
  • Personalised Coaching
  • Healthy recipes 
  • Mindfulness and Meditations to help you get back into healthy habits
  • Detox yoga 

What we’ll learn

Break free from unhealthy eating habits while improving digestion and gaining energy!!! 

Chocolate Truffles

This is an awesome treat! It’s so rich in chocolate and it’s refined sugar,gluten, diary and nut free. I make these and stick them in the freezer for when I need my chocolate fix.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 pitted dates

Directions:

  1. Soak the dates in boiling water till soft.
  2. Drain the dates and keep the date water aside.
  3. Blend the cocoa powder, pepitas and sunflower seeds in a food processor or blender.
  4. Add the desiccated coconut and salt and blend again.
  5. Add the dates and blend untill a ball forms.
  6. Add roughly 1/4 cup of the date water to make the dough sticky.
  7. Roll into balls and roll in some nuts or coconut for decoration.
  8. Enjoy!

Chocolate

Chocolate, sugar free, low carb

Every one deserves a chocolatey treat

This home made chocolate is quiet and easy. Keep it in the freezer on standy for when that sweet tooth hits

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 Tbs rice malt syrup (or stevia)

Directions:

  1. Grate the cocoa butter
  2. Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a double boiler
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients
  4. Spoon into moulds

  • Let it set in the freezer ( usually takes about 5-10 minutes)
  • Take out of the moulds and keep in the freezer

Almond variation

  1. Fill half the tray with liquid chocolate
  2. Add a while almond to each square
  3. Cover the almonds with the rest of the chocolate mixture
  4. Freeze untill set.